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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:00 am 
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This is a really interesting thread.

I just dont think its an issue , if karate isnt trendy or credible to the masses then maybe it needs a little culling, or natural attrition.

maybe that way the quality will rise , the focus will adapt and the individual will feel more comfortable growing and going beyond the norm.

I was naive enough to think karate needed saving at one point , most here know the forum wars we had , good people fighting trying to acheive the same thing .... talk about futile ......

Some folks do Uechi with a more combative focus .... I think im one of them , let me say there not flocking to my door in the hundreds , its harder and less appealing than the strip mall little dragons style karate , but do i do it for the accolades, nope i do it because I love it , and thats how karate will survive evolve.

the passion for it and the value of it .

I identify with Bills take on his Aiki training too , I sometimes dont think karateka see the depth of there system, and they dont always have the skills to exploit it, I would at risk of sticking my neck out say this is often to do with thoughts of pursuing the right training, rather than pursuing the right question.

Karate has no right to be top of the pile , the guys up there are simply the ones working the hardest, evaluating the most honestly,adapting and meeting the market.

But no reason that cant be Karate.


PS Bill put me down for a copy of the book 8)


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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:22 am 
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Location: worcester, ma
i do it because I love it , and thats how karate will survive evolve.

thats probably the best statement i have heard so far. thank you

Stryke, i have somewhat known you on line for some time now and i know you like the more combat side of the art. How do you get past peoples perception of what you do VS what they think other martial arts are. For me i get very tired of having to verbaly defend or explain what i do, that the "little dragon school " that sombodys kid goes to is not at all like what i do and on the other side, i have to expain to the MMA guys that not all TMA schools stand around in horse stances making kiai sounds and that there is valid good stuff in there.
i only ask because you said you thought karate needed saving and now you know better.

i didnt intend for this thread to be a TMA VS MMA conversation, it was meant to be ,,if people are not walking in the dojo door anymore because there is no interest were will we be in 40 - 50 years.


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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:42 am 
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Quote:
Stryke, i have somewhat known you on line for some time now and i know you like the more combat side of the art. How do you get past peoples perception of what you do VS what they think other martial arts are. For me i get very tired of having to verbaly defend or explain what i do, that the "little dragon school " that sombodys kid goes to is not at all like what i do and on the other side, i have to expain to the MMA guys that not all TMA schools stand around in horse stances making kiai sounds and that there is valid good stuff in there.
i only ask because you said you thought karate needed saving and now you know better.


No problem , I guess I just wised up , persuading people to change there mind is really a futile task

I guess I dont mind what people think, I tell people I do martial arts rarely , the ones that press I say karate and lots of things, the ones with any knowledge I'll expalin uechi-ryu with a combative focus , Ill explain my training history and cross training and how my practice is hybrid but with a traditional Uechi-ryu base.

I toyed with the jitsu-do labels and self protection , I think you need the art, the combative, and the physical wellness/fitness to be well balanced these days so I explain it if they want to listen.

I kind of think talking is a waste of time, the above conversation only really occurs with those inquiring to train with me, the MMA guys ive trained with I was a white belt learning there stuff , and when my training came up they were as respectfull as I was to them, Not many here abouts have heard of Uechi but I put it in the harder camp of karate like kyokushin and tell them of the conditioning and full contact focus, thats enough .... I dont sell I just show if asked .

I take the road that theres good and bad in all , and comparisons are just another form of violence, just take the good.

I dont feel the need to defend the art, anyone coming at it negatively without crossing hands with me has revealed enough already , not much to be gained.

so basically be open , share with the openminded , and dont sweat the little things.

lots of egos out there , I dont need to contribute, many TMA will see what I do as not them and many MMA guys will see it as not them , and I just see folks missing out ;)

I think its always helpfull to start conversations with martial artists at what you like about what they do, and discuss learning and sharing and find comonalities , the what we dont like discussion is pretty limited.

I think the energy you bring to the conversation goes a long way , a bit lotus but pretty true.


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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:29 am 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
Nobody wants to take the time to learn the extensive math, science, and statistics it takes to do my work. I'm surrounded by people who do not have English as a first language. It reminds me of being in engineering graduate school.

Are science and math dieing out? No. Is the education system in the U.S. suffering? Apparently. Are most Americans too lazy to do the work it takes to get most of the available jobs with a future? Apparently.

That doesn't make science, math, and statistics wrong, or dieing. But it does mean job security for yours truly. And it's a ticket to citizenship for a lot of Asians who apparently are willing to do the kind of work needed to qualify for our research unit.

I almost hesitate to comment on this analogy, since it is not the crux of the thread, but it falls into the realm of your "oversimplification alert" Bill. As the father of a college freshman who is majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in mathematics, international engineering, and Japanese, and going through the orientations last summer with many other similar students and their families, I can tell you that there does not seem to be any shortage of bright, qualified American-educated students anxious to jump into the math and science coursework. My daughter has been challenged in this first year in ways she never was in high school, but she is thriving on it. I have never seen her work this hard before. The study groups she has joined have other similarly hard-working students.

But will they go on to graduate school? Probably not. Why? Well the bottom line is that they really do not feel there is anything to gain by it. My daughter will probably be in demand when she graduates and likely will make a pretty good salary in her career. In her mind why should she delay her career 2-4 years for a masters or an additional 4-6 years for a doctorate, all the while amassing a hefty student-loan burden to afford graduate school, when the ROI seems dubious at best. Most foreign graduate students, particularly from China, have been sent here for their education by their countries' governments, which is paying for everything for them, so they view this situation differently.

You also are ignoring graduate-school recruitment strategies. Universities have been developing/intensifying partnerships with countries such as China and India, and departmental representatives actively recruit in those countries; but they really do not bother trying to recruit graduate students at other American universities. There is also the issue that so many factors go into graduate-school admission besides just coursework taken and GPA, with connections being particularly important at the Ivy League schools.

There are also the changing demographics at the various levels of education and so forth. The bottom line is that there is a more complex process behind the anecdotal evidence you are seeing besides a 'lazy American' syndrome.

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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:49 pm 
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Glenn wrote:
I almost hesitate to comment on this analogy, since it is not the crux of the thread, but it falls into the realm of your "oversimplification alert" Bill.

You hesitate... and yet here you are. ;-)

Glenn wrote:
As the father of a college freshman who is majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in mathematics, international engineering, and Japanese, and going through the orientations last summer with many other similar students and their families, I can tell you that there does not seem to be any shortage of bright, qualified American-educated students anxious to jump into the math and science coursework.

Show me someone who can do your daughter's coursework, and also get through general and organic chemistry. There are very few.

Finding engineers who can read and write well enough to take courses in the college is also rare. Your daughter sounds fairly bright. Good for her!

Glenn wrote:
But will they go on to graduate school? Probably not. Why? Well the bottom line is that they really do not feel there is anything to gain by it. My daughter will probably be in demand when she graduates and likely will make a pretty good salary in her career. In her mind why should she delay her career 2-4 years for a masters or an additional 4-6 years for a doctorate, all the while amassing a hefty student-loan burden to afford graduate school, when the ROI seems dubious at best. Most foreign graduate students, particularly from China, have been sent here for their education by their countries' governments, which is paying for everything for them, so they view this situation differently.

Almost nobody goes to graduate school without getting financial support. I earned my way through with an NIH trainingship grant for systems physiology. Seven of us in the department got one. If I wasn't good enough, I wouldn't have gotten one and probably never would have finished graduate school.

Glenn wrote:
You also are ignoring graduate-school recruitment strategies. Universities have been developing/intensifying partnerships with countries such as China and India, and departmental representatives actively recruit in those countries; but they really do not bother trying to recruit graduate students at other American universities.

That's not my experience, Glenn. And I have been both student and faculty at a major university.

American universities not wanting to produce Americans with graduate degrees in engineering? Really? That doesn't pass the sniff test.

Glenn wrote:
The bottom line is that there is a more complex process behind the anecdotal evidence you are seeing besides a 'lazy American' syndrome.

U.S. Students Still Lag Globally in Math and Science, Tests Show

Also... You should come look at the influx of people from India in the west end of Richmond. Capital One has a very rigorous test they give folks as a first step in recruitment. If you don't do well on this math and statistics oriented test, they won't even talk to you.

Guess who seems to be doing well on it?

There was an Indian Hindu temple that just got built and then expanded a few miles from my house. What's up with that?

What's up with the Math places being loaded with mostly Asian kids? Still confused? Come talk to some of the parents who have considered sending their kids back home to get their educations.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:48 am 
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Just another observation. Music. Talk to the greatest guitarists, the greatest drummers, etc., etc. After the fullness of the digital age has arrived, they'll still tell you you get the best sounds out of old tube amps and vinyl is the way to go.

When I started my martial arts career it was as a young teenager who was tired of being picked on in middle school. So I looked around and found a school that was supposed to be really good. Dad took me there and after about three lessons, I could smell weed wafting through the hallways and a brown belt kicked me in the mouth showing me a technique. Wrong school. Next I (based on martial arts movies et al) found me a Joe Lewis school (nothing wrong with a Joe Lewis school, he was tough, it's just I went because I saw him in movies and in all the martial arts mags. I also wanted the fastest backfist in the world. Then I got out of it. Went in the military, grew up a little, came back to my hometown. Wanted to get back into martial arts but this time I wanted a tough school as I was now working in a jail for a living. Movie martial arts and what I wanted as a kid now didn't seem so important.

Walked into a little school I had heard about one day and there were these students that were in the midst of a hard workout. I was introduced to this fella named Rick Potrekus. Here was a martial art that met my needs. Close, infighting, no high spinning anything. Tough body conditioning. Wasn't tournament oriented. And that was it. I later learned about it's traditional roots. I don't think youngsters nowadays really want to deal with traditions. I'm not sure you'll ever see a Uechika running around a ring with tatoo'd on ads for gear or sponsors. Could be wrong.

I'll stick with vinyl.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:51 am 
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I think everyone has a different take and thats good.

I think theres a lot of truth in the criticisim of some karate , but theres lots of criticisim of everything .

organisations are difficult , but any organisation to thrive must encourage and promote diversity and innovation or its days are numbered .

some do a great job , some dont , but its the individuals that build the style , they shouldnt lean on the heirachy

and apologies to anyone offended , but karate structure is a pyramid scheme , and this sometimes isnt the most productive way to hold up the new , as mostly all innovation by the model needs to trickle down ..... not to mention tyranny of the masses :lol:

But I dont think these are big problems , But im aware the success of most of karate styles have wavered after they've lost there leadership , with a lack of innovation or a natural branching and offshoot of styles , good or bad is up to the individual to judge .

I think instructors should keep in mind that once the gift of karate is given also , that its free to change grow , be relabelled , but the truth of the gift is self evident.

I think we need a few more Kanbuns of this generation , the ones that go out learn , bring back , fit there market , innovate , and inspire , after all it maybe called uechi-ryu now , but it was just Kanbuns fighting club in another language right?

thats the tradition , and as long as we pay homage use the base and expand I dont see why were not doing Uechi-ryu

I do martial arts in general , My art is Uechi .

build it and they will come :D


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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:53 am 
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In business the new edge is to offer custom products. people want their stuff the way they want it. every business owner in every market knows this. gone are the days of selling the Ford in any color you want as long as its black. new marketing is to offer the product in any and every variation posible selected by the customer and made special just for that individual and shiped within 24 hours. this is what i have read in every book, magazine and article on business. business is now customer driven not manufacturing driven.

if this is slowly becoming the new norm then the traditional MA system and organization can not serve this demanding customer.
this thread has been a big eye opener for me. i now think that aggregate systems and dojos are the way to go. maybe this is why MMA is doing so well. in the same building you have a a coach for each part of an aggregate. boxing, muaythai, karate, jiu-jitsu, judo all working together to serve the individual what he or she wants to focus on. what the customer wants.

this fantasy that "all is in sanchin" and that we have hidden components of wrestling and jitsu moves that will be revealed to you if you study long and hard enough just doesnt cut it. i want what i want, now!! i want to learn to punch and knock someones head off now , not do sanchin kata for three years. at the same time i want to learn that cool throw move i saw Rhonda Rousey do on that reporter guy. i dont want to have to wait untill im a brown belt to do it.
this is probably what is going thru the students mind. i know if i was 18 again in this gen x day in age where things move at the speed of light i would be thinking this too.
i am not saying that this is the best way to learn or that impatent is good. i am just thinking that we need to serve the customer better.
In Kanbuns day you got what you got and you were lucky to get it. now everything in avalible on line. and lets admit it, if you are a computer literate person, you know you watch youtube and try to learn stuff. everything is avalible why be so far behind the times when it comes to the dojo?
Bill mentioned the Oki's holding back knowledge, how about this, American teachers holding back stuff to try an retain students longer. i will guaranty it happens all the time. i know its happend to me.

the problem is that as an organisation and as a system when you go to the customer driven model you lose the controll. the heirachy and staus quo is at complete odds with this.. the king will lose his throne if the land is turned over to the people.
i will stop here for fear of going off on a rant about organsational ranking and stuff.

stryke , you were right on target. thanks for sending me in this direction.


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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:26 am 
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OK, so apparently there is a size limit on posts now and I exceeded it, so I will break up my reply into multiple posts.

Bill Glasheen wrote:
You hesitate... and yet here you are.

Well I did say almost hesitate :wink:

Quote:
Show me someone who can do your daughter's coursework, and also get through general and organic chemistry. There are very few.

She takes after her dad and prefers physics over chemistry, hence the mechanical engineering major. She has already completed the one general chemistry course required for her major and has no plans to take organic or any other additional chemistry.

Quote:
Finding engineers who can read and write well enough to take courses in the college is also rare. Your daughter sounds fairly bright. Good for her!

Thanks, we're proud of her! You can guess where her interest in Japanese began. Uechi took her in a different direction than just martial arts. She is planning on doing a study abroad to Japan after her junior year.

Quote:
Almost nobody goes to graduate school without getting financial support. I earned my way through with an NIH trainingship grant for systems physiology. Seven of us in the department got one. If I wasn't good enough, I wouldn't have gotten one and probably never would have finished graduate school.

Assistantships do not pay much though. My current stipend is $1,000 a month for 10 months, or $10,000 a year. For single grad students with no additional income coming in from a significant other, that is below the poverty level of $11,170 for a single person. And one of my fellow grad students is a single mom with three kids; while she gets some alimony and child support from her ex she has to survive on student loans. An assistantship also pays tuition, but not the student fees which are around $750 a semester, so ~$1,500 or 15% of that $10,000 stipend goes right back to the university each year. Then there are the textbooks during the coursework portion of graduate degrees, and most textbooks in the technical fields are over $100 now; my daughter's chemistry text was $250!

When I was a grad student 20 years ago I earned $850 a month for 10 months, or $8,500 a year. So in those 20 years the stipend has increased $1,500 or 15%, compared to the 59% inflation rate in prices during those same 20 years. Clearly assistantship stipends have in no way kept up with the increases in cost of living. The only reason I have not had to resort to loans is because I am lucky enough to have a spouse who makes a decent salary, both of which make me unique in the department. It's still tough supporting a family of five and a mortgage on such a reduced family income though, and I have come close to breaking down and applying for student loans several times.

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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:39 am 
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Quote:
That's not my experience, Glenn. And I have been both student and faculty at a major university.

I was describing the situation as it exists in the 21st century, not the disco era :wink:

Quote:
American universities not wanting to produce Americans with graduate degrees in engineering? Really? That doesn't pass the sniff test.

You would think that wouldn't you, but that is not the globalized free-market way. While it might not smell right it does make perfect economic sense. At my university resident graduate students pay $274.75 per credit hour (more for graduate business or engineering courses); out-of-state and foreign students however pay $741.00. That is an extra $466.25 in income to the university per credit hour, which works out to an extra $4,195.25 per student per semester for a standard graduate load of 9 credit hours and an extra $50,355 per student over the base assumption of six years to get a masters and then doctorate. Now they could actively try to recruit graduate students at universities around the US, but right now there is a bigger bang for the buck in recruiting in other countries.

But don't take my word about the level of foreign recruiting, here are some excerpts from news articles focused on my university's foreign undergrad recruitment.
From 2010, Duo guide first wave of Chinese students to UNL
Quote:
With nearly 100 new Partnership Degree Program students from China enrolling this fall, UNL is seeing the first wave of students who started two years ago at Chinese universities with the goal of completing their degrees in Lincoln.

English instructors Mariah Schuemann and Regina (Gigi) Weitzel, hired by UNL to teach and coordinate PDP activities in China, spent the week of Aug. 16 in Lincoln. The two met with faculty, administrators and others and then welcomed their students to campus for International Student Orientation on Aug. 20.

Weitzel is beginning her third year at Zhejiang University City College, which is primarily an engineering and computer science college in Hangzhou. Schuemann is beginning her second year at Xi’an Jiaotong University City College in Xi’an. While their formal titles are “English instructor,” both note their jobs encompass much more than teaching English.

“UNL is somewhat unique because we have stable, long-term employees in China whose jobs are to help the undergraduates prepare to succeed,” Weitzel said. Many universities who recruit Chinese students to study in the U.S. use paid recruiters, Weitzel said.

Added Schuemann: “We are a resource for the students; they get to know us and are comfortable coming to use for help with personal or academic issues. We are the familiar face of UNL in China.”

Laziness does not appear to be a wholy American trait:
Quote:
The women focus on helping their students hone four skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing English –– plus developing cultural knowledge. Both agree it’s hardest to get through to fourth semester students, who have been admitted to UNL and think they can coast in their English classes.

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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:39 am 
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Then there is this from last year
Quote:
Hunter said UNL has increased its presence in China, India, Brazil, Vietnam and other countries to help recruit more students.

She also said the university participates in programs such as Science without Borders, where international students from Brazil come to UNL to study science-related fields. These types of programs increase UNL’s international reputation and enrollment, Hunter said.


Here is one from a couple of weeks ago:
Quote:
The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources continues to build relationships in China, with recent developments on several fronts aimed at building an important foothold for UNL and the state itself in one of the fastest growing economic powers in the world.

A team of IANR officials, led by Vice Chancellor Ronnie Green, recently returned from the country. Green was making his third visit to China in 18 months, joined this time by Mark Doyle, IANR director of global engagement, and Rolando Flores, head of the Department of Food Science and Technology.

Currently, China sends more students to U.S. universities than any other country.


What has been the result, well in the 2011-2012 academic yearUNL's total student enrollment fell 0.1% while foreign undergrad enrollment increased 13%.

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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:43 am 
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Quote:
U.S. Students Still Lag Globally in Math and Science, Tests Show

Also... You should come look at the influx of people from India in the west end of Richmond. Capital One has a very rigorous test they give folks as a first step in recruitment. If you don't do well on this math and statistics oriented test, they won't even talk to you.

Guess who seems to be doing well on it?

There was an Indian Hindu temple that just got built and then expanded a few miles from my house. What's up with that?

What's up with the Math places being loaded with mostly Asian kids? Still confused? Come talk to some of the parents who have considered sending their kids back home to get their educations.

And yet students there are sent here. Most of what you describe is changing demographics from immigration obviously. As to why the immigrants may be doing better in certain subjects, there are many alternative explanations to laziness.

Think about the environment we grew up in Bill. Science was in its heyday in the US in the 1950s-1970s, with the news touting one breakthrough after another. NASA alone was sparking the interest of many kids in science and technology. There were only 4 channels, and if nothing good was on ABC, CBS, or NBC then odds were good you might switch over to a documentary on PBS like Cosmos. Even the Big 3 had prime time science shows with Cousteau specials and Wild Kingdom.

Now however science programming is lost in the forest that is cable/satellite programming. To survive, the so-called "science" channels like Science, Discovery, TLC, and Animal Planet have largely abandoned science programming in favor of worthless so-called "reality" shows.

We also have leaders who regularly devalue science and ridicule scientists, and the media now only reports on NASA when it makes a mistake. With budget cuts and offshoring kids are uncertain about whether science/tech jobs will be around for them anyway. Then there are all the other distractions that we did not have, such as IPads, XBoxes, smart phones and the like.

The bottom line is that there is not a lot of real emphasis or pressure on American students to focus on science and math. Meanwhile in countries like China and India students are pushed to focus on and excel in those subjects, those countries see them as a way to catch up to the US.

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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Glenn wrote:
Assistantships do not pay much though. My current stipend is $1,000 a month for 10 months, or $10,000 a year. For single grad students with no additional income coming in from a significant other, that is below the poverty level of $11,170 for a single person.

Wow, that's pretty generous.

I recall my stipend covering my tuition, and paying me $440 a month. I found a way to survive through graduate school. I supplemented that with loans, but didn't have to pay any of that off until after I graduated.

One of the greatest advantages of that experience was learning how to live on less, and learning how to cook rather than eat out. Those skills have served me well in life.

I do not recommend most folks start graduate school after married or starting a family, unless the spouse is on board and can support you financially. The divorce rate at UVa for married grad students was something like 2 out of 3.

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Glenn wrote:
Think about the environment we grew up in Bill. Science was in its heyday in the US in the 1950s-1970s, with the news touting one breakthrough after another. NASA alone was sparking the interest of many kids in science and technology. There were only 4 channels, and if nothing good was on ABC, CBS, or NBC then odds were good you might switch over to a documentary on PBS like Cosmos. Even the Big 3 had prime time science shows with Cousteau specials and Wild Kingdom.

Now however science programming is lost in the forest that is cable/satellite programming. To survive, the so-called "science" channels like Science, Discovery, TLC, and Animal Planet have largely abandoned science programming in favor of worthless so-called "reality" shows.

We also have leaders who regularly devalue science and ridicule scientists, and the media now only reports on NASA when it makes a mistake. With budget cuts and offshoring kids are uncertain about whether science/tech jobs will be around for them anyway. Then there are all the other distractions that we did not have, such as IPads, XBoxes, smart phones and the like.

There is a cure for all that. Due to video game addiction and faltering grades, I have removed the X-box and Macbook from my son. No cable either. I allow doses of time gaming with the Macbook when he reads at least a few chapters.

Parents matter. You cannot let videogames and TV raise your children.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: is karate dying out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 pm 
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While some styles are surely dying out with their last students, others are developing. The branches of Uechi-Ryu, as I understand it, are like dialects of a common language. As time passes, they will become different enough that we'll consider them distinct styles. TMA evolve over time, despite all efforts to go back to a (real or imagined) past state of perfection. And then there's styles like Jeet Kune Do, synthesized by new people from their own ideas and styles they borrowed from.

I haven't read the thread completely, but it didn't seem like anyone else had made this point. Sorry if it's redundant.

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